I am very new to this site... Just joined... not sure if I should be here. I am not good at expressing myself, so forgive me if this is lengthy and confusing. I have not worked out many of my issues and find myself not very self-aware. All I know are two things: I am in pain and I have caused pain... I read somewhere that telling your story may help in the healing... so for those of you willing to read, here is my story as I know it today:
My parents migrated to my current country of residence from India 7 years before my birth. My father has Schizophrenia with paranoid and religious delusions, as well as Bipolar Disorder. I won't go into more detail about that. My mother didn't have any diagnosed illnesses, but I now understand that both of them were very broken individuals. I also have a brother who is 5 years older than me.
Since the earliest that I can remember clearly (around 4yrs of age), my father physically abused my mother. One of her defensive measures seems to have been to ridicule my father, maybe to try and get a response. I am not sure of this. In the end, he would always end up waging war. My brother and I would always run to try and get in-between him and our mother. To the best of our abilities, we would take the blows that were meant for her. My father wouldn't acknowledge our presence, simply trying to hit/kick through us... or maybe he did see us... and that's why our injuries never included any broken bones. Sometimes I was not around when these events happened, so my brother was left to defend our mother by himself... sometimes he wasn't there and it was up to me... sometimes neither of us were there... We always feared that. We felt guilty for not being there... but we never knew when it happened, because our mum would never tell us.
So how does a 4 year-old boy, weighing roughly 16kg stand up to a 40 year-old man weighing over 80kg? Anger and hatred. I filled myself with such hate, that I was able to be "brave" and keep standing... and when I was knocked down, I would tend to get back up... unless he hit me too hard. Unfortunately, our mother did not seem to appreciate our efforts. I still remember her words: "God will never forgive you for going against your father like this". After the beatings we took for her, she rejected us... but we were always there for her, despite her words.
I now understand that my anger and hatred, whilst allowing me to stand and fight, also fueled my father's rage: "You're turning them against me!" he would yell at our mother... Maybe I was the cause for a few of those beatings. Maybe some of my bruises were my own fault.
My brother used to tease me, saying that I was an "accident". That's fine. My daughter was an accident as well - The most glorious accident in the world. I cherish her and would lay my life down for her in a heart-beat. But then my mother began telling me that I "would become worse than my father", so by the age of 5, I no longer thought of myself as an accident. I believed whole-heartedly that I was a mistake... some sort of abberation. I would hide in the darkest part of my closet, willing myself to disappear, whilst simultaneously listening out for the quick and heavy footsteps that heralded my father ramping up for another beating, signalling the time for me to run into harm's way again.
My mother always told us never to tell anyone anything about my father's illness. In fact, we should never let anyone know of ANY of our "weaknesses", as there were people out to destroy us, there were people out to ruin our chances to marry, no woman would want to marry us... and my favourite "Health Insurance companies would label us, causing our premiums to go up"... what a joke... but we believed. Noone knew what was happening. Nobody knew when we hurt and we never talked to anyone about our feelings. We withdrew from our local community and I started losing friends. If we could pretend to be perfect, convince everyone else that we are perfect then maybe we could fool ourselves into thinking that we're perfect... but it just doesn't work like that does it?
The first time I contemplated suicide was at 5 years of age. I stole my father's razorblades and willed myself to cut my wrist... because that's what people did to end the pain... I never had the fortitude to carry it out. I never thought that I would reach 25 years of age... It felt like too much time to endure all of this... Surely I would be dead by then.
I drowned myself in movies, books and songs, anything to get away from this reality, feeling an immense sadness when they were finished, when I had to return to my life. Funnily enough, as much as I hated my dad, I also loved him because there were times when he was nice to us and our home felt safer... also, as much as I loved my mother, I hated her, for all the times she rejected our efforts to defend her and for sentencing me to a future worse than my father, the madman that we feared above all else.
And so my core beliefs were formed. I was a mistake. I was an aberration even to God and that's why he never intervened. I was fated to become worse than a madman and I could tell nobody, absolutely nobody about any of it, lest the world come crashing down on all of us. All in all, fromt the time I was 5. My core belief was that I was a monster. I promised that I would never raise my fist against anyone (other than my father) and I have kept that promise to this day.
Time passed and the beatings continued, although now my father would sometimes focus directly on us (my brother/me) during his darker times, taking us underneath the house for punishment. It would invariably centre on God and the Church. He was looking for the perfect house of God, shifting from church to church... and my brother and I didn't want God, because God didn't want us. My father may have been trying to find redemption and we were probably getting in the way of that... so he punished us. Sometimes there was no reason other than: "You are like Jesus and so you should be punished for other people's sins". We were powerless against him. We were just powerless.
Being Indian, we were only worthy if we did well in our studies. My brother fell short, so off to India he was sent. He didn't want to go. I didn't want him to go. We both just wanted peace... but now the stakes were raised. I was on my own now. Time passed, battles were fought, I grew in stature and strength. I could now stand my ground and win against my father. I ran away from home a few times, only to come slinking back after a couple of days. Why? I didn't want to leave my mother alone... and I was plainly scared of living in the streets. I wasn't strong enough.
Then one day, after I had turned 18 (supposedly turning from a boy into a man), my father had another episode. This time, he was waving a knife around at my mother. I disarmed him, hit him hard and caused him to bleed. He backed off in pain... and I should have felt strong... I tried to feel justified, to fill myself with that anger that had kept me company all those years... but I felt horrified at what I had done... What had I become? My mother repeated her famous words: "God will never forgive you for this"... and I believed her. So I ran away again.
Not wanting to sleep behind anymore dumpsters to stay out of the cold wind, I had previously discovered that trains at the end of the line were a Godsend to sleep in overnight. I felt safe and comfortable. I slept. Then I was woken up by rough hands. I don't remember their faces anymore. It's been 13 years and in my dreams their faces blur (Similar to the photographed faces in that movie "The Ring")... but the smell is still crystal clear. I didn't know what the smell was back then, but I'm a doctor now, so I know that I was smelling a putrid combination of faeces and a urinary tract infection. One man, two women. I thought I was strong, but I couldn't get up. They wouldn't let me get up. The man kept saying "Just relax" over and over as one of those foul hags forced my pants down and penetrated me with a finger... it hurt so much... and to my horror, my... it stood up... allowing the other witch to climb on top... I couldn't believe what was happening... I was so horrified, scared... and ashamed... I know now why my body did what it did, but I didn't have a clue then... I thought for so many years that there was something so sick inside of me, that my body should respond like that. For years I wondered, did part of me actually LIKE that??? What kind of man gets raped by a woman???
More happened that night. That bastard of a man had his fill and amidst all the pain, my body kept responding. Was I gay? Did I like what was happening to me? I told nobody what had happened. I blamed myself. I had gone against my father and God had finally had enough and punished me for it.
So we all have our bad coping methods for dealing with all of this. Reading this forum makes that pretty clear. Some choose drugs, alcohol, obsessive control, dissociation, withdrawal, isolation. Apparently sexual compulsion and frequent masturbation are others one that some people go through. Mine was porn addiction.
At the time, I thought that it was normal for young guys to be interested in porn... but for me it seemed to be a little more than that. I didn't realise it at the time, but whenever I was feeling at risk or low, I looked at porn. Whenever that "Monster" inside of me (as I now call it) began to tell me that I was worthless or didn't deserve to exist, etc, I looked at porn. I've been told that we're all inherantly wired for intimacy and relationship... butfor those people who believe that they are not worthy of intimacy in real life or who cannot risk breaking down the barriers of secrecy and pain to finally let someone in, they turn to porn. I've been told it's a way to experience artificial intimacy without the horrifying risk of exposing yourself to rejection as a human being. It degrades the people in the images, without a doubt, but it is more a desperate attempt to quell that toxic shame that permeates everything inside of you... to feel some sort of connection. I don't know if it is true... but it definitely rang some bells for me.
Apparently there is a cycle of abstinence, followed by increased temptation fuelled by building shame, leading to the fantasizing and planning, followed by the execution (looking at the porn/surfing the net)... which finally compounds the shame at having given in, which then leads back to the abstinence phase. Just like any other addiction, there is the law of diminishing returns, as the fantasy phase always promises more gains than it actually delivers, so riskier or more lewd behaviour results, which leads to even more toxic shame at the new lows that you are sinking to each time. So down you go in the self-perpetuating spiral of emptiness and shame. I wanted peace... was desparate for it... but I didn't know how to get it. When the negative feelings took over, it was like quicksand. The more I tried to fight it the more I would fail, giving into the spiral, because I gave those negative thoughts the hold they needed purely by choosing to struggle... so I kept falling. Slowly but surely, not even being aware that I had a problem.
Things seemed outwardly to improve for a little bit. My identity depended on academic success and I had gained entry into a medical degree. I was strong enough to protect my mother and not get hurt by my dad. I had finally found someone that I loved and who loved me in return... and I had finally reached the age of 25, the age that I thought I would never reach. Life seemed good, I had never known that I was sick, but I definitely thought that I was in a much better place. So I proposed. Two years later I was married to the most unbelievable woman in the world and was graduating from Medicine... but my porn addiction had still continued, through all the stresses of academic failure, through the stresses of organizing the wedding... and even trying to defuse all of the trouble that had begun to brew between my fiance's parents and my own... mostly brought about by paranoid thoughts from my father... but still I didn't know I had a problem. I thought life was good, despite how empty I felt... emptiness was as familiar to me as my right arm. I thought it was normal.
This is the hardest part to write...
Random pornography was no longer enough. Despite graduating from duos, to threesomes, to foursomes, to mass orgies, I found myself looking at fake celebrity porn. So what? It was just the celebrity's head morphed onto pornographic pictures. Then that wasn't enough. I began morphing people that I knew onto those pictures... and then writing stories about them. Somehow I should have known that I was so deep in ruin, but I had spiralled so low and was oblivious to any repercussions... True to form, I hid everything... but my wife found out. The one person I HAD to appear completely perfect in front of (because the "Monster" inside me told me that she would leave if she could ever see the real me), caught a horrific view of who her husband actually was... and just like my "Monster" had warned me, she had been filled with revulsion.
Her view is that if I was indeed in a downward spiral... and if the law of diminishing returns held true, would I have become a sexual predator? What would the next step into depravity have been? Would I be capable of doing that which was done to me? My heart screams out NO... but I had fallen so far already... and as the fog in my mind had begun to slowly lift, I had been completely horrified by what I had been doing. So I can never say with 100% certainty that I would not have become something completely evil... and that doubt carries the power to destroy me.
I kept the promises that I made when I was 5. I wanted to have a family and to raise my kids with a gentle hand... I did not want violence to find its way back into my life... to destroy my daughter's childhood as it had destroyed mine and my brother's... but I had no idea how many other ways a person could stumble... and as a result, my family came so close to destruction. My fight feels like it is only beginning, as I try to find some value in myself... but I have felt empty for so long that I may not know how to live without that feeling. I have listened to the "Monster" for so many years that it seems almost impossible to drown its' voice out. I am guilty of the things I have done out of my toxic coping methods and as such, need to atone... but somehow I also need to forgive myself (Not condone my actions).
My lingering doubt however, is about how far into hell I could have descended... Am I a "Monster"? Could I have gotten worse? Everyone here says that there is no rehabilitation for sexual predators, so I am hoping above all hope that my heart is right and that the capacity for such actions and evil is simply not within me.... but all I know for certain is that I am in pain and that I have caused pain. I am sorry for the things that I have done, the damage I have caused my family... but I am also trying to convince myself that I don't need to be sorry for being broken... a concept that I'd wager most people outside of this forum would struggle to comprehend. I am not "worthless"/"evil"/"deserving of death". I am simply having those thoughts because of the things that have happened to me.
So I ask one question: Am I a Survivor?
Edited by Afroman, 10 October 2012 - 10:31 AM.